Much like Bacchus I have no shortage of images in my head which I’d like to have out in the world, and also like him I have neither any real skill, nor any talent that I can discern, for doing my own drawing. So needless to say I’ve been following Bacchus’s recent posts on 3D SexVilla with considerable interest. Now, there have been software engines for creating high-quality graphics around for quite a while, but my own sense is that you have to be pretty damn good to get results like this:

the seventh time I died

(“The Seventh Time I Died,” by Scandinavian artist Johan Flood, gallery of his work here.)

And naturally, as a committed Linux user, I hold out high hopes for the development of MakeHuman, which can also produce impressive Poser-like results:

leoni meets makehuman

Still, I suspect that this engine won’t be all that simple to use.

But simpler things are surely coming, and that will mean significant changes. The point of this post will be to speculate about them a bit. There’s reason for optimism here.

The hope is that whatever interfaces we have will be easier and cheaper to use. That seems almost sure to happen, and when it does, it will mean that the sort of publicly available kink out there will be stranger, and better, and kinkier than before, because you’ll have not just thousands but millions of weird imaginations at work. That means a lot of fetishes and a lot more strange little communities of sexual interest. It was Voltaire, I think, who once remarked that if you have two religions in land they will cut each other’s throats, but if you have thirty there will be peace. As in religion, so in sex, maybe. It will be hard to have oppression of sexual minorities when pretty much everyone is part of some sexual minority or another.

A possible further social implication might be an escalation of interest in transhumanism. Once people can see vividly all the strange and wonderful things that might happen, the more they might be interested in enhancing themselves in ways such that these things could happen.

And there may be deeper technological implications as well. I’ve mulled over a suggestion made by Bacchus that perhaps in a decade or so we will have artificial intelligence (AI) engines capable of turning natural language scripts or instructions into illustrations.

That’s a tricky thought to get my brain around. Although it’s not really my thing, I sat down and composed a little bit of script in honor of the latest little weird community of interest to catch my eye out there on the internet: the so-called “shrinking woman” (SW) enthusiasts. (There really is something for everyone out there.)

Page 1 Page divided into six panels, divided into two tiers of three. All of these are set in PROFESSOR STRANGE’S laboratory.
Panel Description Dialog
1.1 Voluptuous coed STACEY is stepping into the TRANSPORTER CHAMBER, which is about six feet tall and roughly ovoid in shape. Stacey is wearing shorts and a v-neck t-shirt with PRINCETON written on it. Caption: A demonstration for the skeptic!

Professor, are you really sure this is safe?

1.2 A full-on view of Professor Strange. He is wearing a white lab-coat and sitting behind a complicated-looking control panel of some sort. PROFESSOR STRANGE:
Perfectly safe, my dear. We are only going to demonstrate by transporting you across the room.
1.3 View of the Transporter Chamber. A FLASH is seen in place of where Stacey was standing in Panel 1. SFX: ZZZAP! CAPTION: Transported!

Well, okay, if you say so, but…EEEK!

1.4 View of a different Transporter Chamber across the lab. Stacey’s clothing is sitting in a heap on the transporter pad. Professor Strange is standing just to one side, scratching his chin. Note that Stacey cannot be seen in the panel. STACEY (balloon with tiny words):

Fascinating…the transport algorithm spontaneously differentiated between biotic and non-biotic material.

1.5 Close up view of the heap of clothing. Stacey has shrunk to about two inches high. Her clothing did not shrink with her (thus leaving her naked). Professor Strange’s hand (huge in this scale) is lifting Stacey up. STACEY:
1.6 Professor Strange is holding the tiny Stacey out at arms length and is looking at her, eyebrow raised. STACEY (balloon with tiny words):
What have you done with me! Put me down!

This promises to be most interesting…

(The HTML tables above reproduce a script layout by Celtx, which is a very cool (and free) tool for writing screenplays, comic book scripts, etc.)

Now the above script probably isn’t your thing either, but bear with me. There would be a lot of detail to fill in here. Is Professor Strange a Mephistophelean figure or a Jerry Lewis-like nutty professor? Is his laboratory a Bond-villain lair? An antiseptic academic space? A steampunk setting? Is Stacey an anatomically-implausible comic book cover babe? Or perhaps short and zaftig? Blond, red-headed, brunette, raven-haired? European? Asian? African? I imagine you were filling in all the details as you read the script, probably in the way that you found the most gratifying.

Now in my experience (admittedly limited) in working with professional artists, I’ve prepared written descriptions to which they’ve responded with multiple pencil sketches and a query: which among these best captures what you’re looking for? It’s a process that often reveals pleasant surprises, bits of self-knowledge that I didn’t have before. (Though, to be sure, it’s also expensive, at least when I’m paying the commission.)

Now a really good AI engine would probably not just stop at turning out drafts based on your scripts. A really good AI engine will learn about you, improving its searches over time to read what you give it and turn out things that are better and better, more and more like what your mind is searching for, things you find more and more appealing. A really good AI engine — and this might be a few decades further down the road from what Bacchus first suggested to me — would be a partner, something (perhaps we might even call “it” a someone) that serves as a partner, something that builds up within itself an image of your own erotic consciousness and imagination.

(I realize now there must be artists out there beginning to gnash their teeth. Sorry guys. Feel free to imagine a future in which AI engines manage to replace the annoying writer. Maybe I deserve it.)

And that’s significant, because it’s a step forward for both you and the machines. Nietzsche wrote an aphorism in Beyond Good and Evil: Grad und Art der Geschlechtlichkeit eines Menschen reicht bis in den letzten Gipfel seines Geistes hinauf. Someone’s sexuality reaches to the very top of his or her spirit. Most likely he was right. You create a record of yourself, not just in pictures, but in intelligent software. If there’s ever to be any hope of overcoming death through indirect mind uploading, as Paul Almond has proposed, this could be an unparalleled record of yourself, the recording that reaches right to the top of your spirit.

Now that would make possible one amazing future.